Students return to campus for the first time since the pandemic

SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Students at Bryant University returned to campus for the first time since the pandemic started. The move-in process included allotted move time slots, COVID-19 testing and a quarantine period.

It’s one of the first schools in Rhode Island to welcome students back for the fall semester. As soon as students enter the campus for move-in, they have to go to a tent and get tested for the coronavirus. Students then have to quarantine until they get a negative test result back, which school officials say could take up to 24 hours.

Cassandra Prazeres is a rising senior at Bryant University.

“I was kind of on the fence a little bit,” Prazeres said. “I definitely got a little nervous, but as more and more information got released with the weekly testing that Bryant’s going to be doing, it made me feel safer.”

Prazeres is moving into a townhouse on campus this Saturday. Students are given an allotted time slot and a three hour move-in period.

“I’ve definitely come to term with some of the aspects of senior year,” Prazeres said. “It’s not going to be the senior year that we’ve all waited for these past 4 years on campus.”

Students also must download the “health checker” app and report whether or not they have symptoms daily. If you are clear, a green check will gets you access into buildings on campus.

Students can choose different class options. For example, Prazeres says she chose a hybrid model. However, school officials say for first year students, 95 – 98% of those courses will meet in person.

Bryant University officials say they also added 11 new classrooms to meet CDC guidelines and invested in $500,000 dollars of technology. They say they have a contingency plan in place if cases rise.

“I am a little sad that everything you look forward to for those 4 years aren’t going to happen, but as long as I’m with my friends and I’m on campus and getting that in person interaction, I’m looking forward to it a lot,” Prazeres said.

Next week, Providence College will welcome their first round of students in on August 28th. URI students will move-in starting on the 29th.

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